You only pass through this life once Jack, you don’t come back for an encore…

Cue it up, slap the needle on the wax – miss the very beginning and do it again, then just assume the crash position.  After the daffy talking bits and a BIG build up just let the riff or riffs crunch in all around you, that guitar sound is simply planetary … man; we’re off to the races and talking triple A+ grade stoner disconnect here.  ‘Quad’ is a hell of an opening track, welcome brethren.

Welcome to Relaxing With The Heads, 1995’s and I have no doubt 2995’s, coolest jam.

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This Bristol quartet put the primate into primitive*, realising that pure knuckle dragging recidivism was the only way forward.  In the ultimate act of downward mobility these guys dredged up a sound based on a mainlining of the Stooges, MC5 and early Monster Magnet, revved it up on cheap drugs and speedway racing, then unleashed it on us all.  Mudhoney are the comparison point that critics use the most but the Heads are a far superior crew to my mind, much more punchy and potent and I say that a bit of a ‘honey fan.

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There is so much greatness locked down inside these blue grooves and yet it is difficult to pick out particular tracks on Relaxing With The Heads because the impression you’re left with after spinning it is of the whole slab, rather than the individual granules.  But allow me to point you towards two in particular.

First up ‘Taken Too Much’ which has a fabulously numb quality about it.  The detached phoned-in-from-the-phantom-zone vocals from Simon Price and the slightly bluesier guitar tone really set this track apart. As someone who has very occasionally been known to make a bit of a pig of himself at a buffet I can quite relate to the sheer emotional isolation of excess and silent screaming desperation to feel something, anything that the titular overindulgence conjures up.

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The 11-minute LP closer ‘Coogan’s Bluff’ has long been a favourite.  The length really allows the Heads to get their monster (magnetic?) jam on and by that I don’t mean a relaxed peeling off of licks and solos, ‘Coogan’s Bluff’ just thrums like an engine in the red and given its length manages not to overstay its welcome by a second.  Later on in the life of the band they leaned in a bit too much on all the lengthy jams for me but this is absolutely spot-on excellent.

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Their decadence knew no bounds …

Relaxing With The Heads is a city full of rewarding nooks, crannies and spots of interest, there’s the amplified harmonica on ‘Don’t Know Yet’, the freaking urgency of ‘Woke Up’, the nihilism of ‘Chipped’, the lowdown shuffle-fuck of ‘U33’ and the pure uncaring grunginess of ‘Television’^.

Television, television, television
Why it sucks my time
It’s a pisser, it’s a pisser, it’s a pisser
And it tastes like wine
Carrie Fisher, Carrie Fisher, Carrie Fisher
Well she looks so fine

So all aboard for a sleighride to the bottom of the bong and the very centre of the universe itself.  Relaxing With The Heads is compulsory listening for anyone who likes their rock mazy, muzzy, dirty cool and a dead certainty to fail a drugs test.  Amen to that.

My RSD 2017 version of the Relaxing With The Heads, as well as boasting that pre-distressed eye-catching cover of the hookah-toting dame with the interesting terrain, comes with an inner sleeve replete with contemporary reviews (not all of them good, it has to be said).  The vinyl is perfectly blue and my copy is #0253 of 1000, which I am sure must carry some pretty far-out significance.

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You only pass through this life once Jack, you don’t come back for an encore…

967 Down.

PS:  If you have the time, this is fricking great:


^plus 1537 bonus points are automatically awarded for any song referencing Ms Fisher.

15 thoughts on “Heads Will Roll

  1. Fantastic stuff. I’d like a copy of this one. Have I mentioned that before? Proper good stuff.

    Also, “hookah-toting dame with the interesting terrain”. I’d like to hear Shakira try throwing that into a song.

    1. I am frankly ashamed that I only discovered these guys in the last 3 years. I think it reflects badly not only on me, but my parents too.

      Thanks I liked that line – I heard myself like Philip Marlowe when I typed it, it’s a medical condition I have. I really think the word ‘dame’ needs to be brought back into vogue.

      1. I completely agree that dame needs to be used more widely. I’m gonna do my part and start introducing it to my vocabulary canon today.

  2. Nice cover!! The teddy bear in the picture makes it safe to view at work! When the picture popped up, I quickly looked around to make sure no one was around and seeing it. I didn’t want to start an HR issue!

    1. This is a very NSFW album, not the words just the TONE of it is an HR violation waiting to happen.

      That’s one decadent bear – Vince Neil and Nikki Sixx have seen nothing compared to him. True story.

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